Anthony Hopkins Advice for Young Actors: “stop trying to be cool because it doesn’t work”

Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins at the New York premiere of MEET JOE BLACK, 11/2/98 (Everett Collection /

Anthony Hopkins shares advice for aspiring actors.

Anthony Hopkins is a legend in Hollywood. His work brings life to movies and TV shows. In an interview with Augustman, Hopkins reflected on how luck played a part in his acting career and advice he would share with aspiring young actors.

After working several decades in the film industry, he credits his success to luck. He adds, “It’s a mystery how I’ve got here, because I left school in 1957 with no idea where I was going. I did my military service for two years, then a bit of time in a repertory company. In 1965, I worked with Laurence Olivier as an understudy and boom, I was suddenly on stage with him. It can’t be. That feeling has been with me all my life, so I don’t question it. It just happens that you were there in the right place at the right time. It’s called kismet.”

Hopkins says Laurence Olivier’s mentorship had a major impact and he tries to pass it on to younger actors. He says, “I try to help. I tell them to stop trying to be cool because it doesn’t work, to instead learn the craft and be disciplined. It’s not a competition. Being in competition with people is a waste of time. How do you compete? At the awards? You have five people who are happy to have been nominated, then you have four losers later, pretending to be happy. It’s all bullshit. What’s more important is to keep trying, and to consistently deliver the best you have to offer.”

Hopkins also says awards are worthless and actors should not take themselves too seriously. “All the glory and nonsense don’t mean a thing. If you’re lucky, you get your lucky break, you get to the top, you get acclaim. But you mustn’t take it seriously. If you take it seriously, if you think you’re unique, you’re dead. No one is unique, and no one is special. Actors, especially.”

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